Cablegate: U.S. Host Blocks Sudatel Internet Domain Name
DE RUEHKH #1003 1891328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071328Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1251
UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001003
DEPT FOR SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG, EEB/ESC/ESP(KLEIN), EEB/CIP
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
DEPT PLS PASS TREASURY FOR OFAC
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINT EAID PREL PGOV SU
SUBJECT: U.S. HOST BLOCKS SUDATEL INTERNET DOMAIN NAME
REF: 07-03-2008 Mulligan-Struble email
1. (U) This is an action request - see para 4.
2. (SBU) In meetings with CDA Fernandez on July 6, Presidential
Advisor Osman Ismail and the Sudanese Foreign Ministry raised
U.S.-host company Network Solutions locking of Sudan
Telecommunications Company's (SUDATEL) internet domain name (ref
email). Osman appealed for USG assistance to reverse the decision
or allow SUDATEL to transfer its domain to a non-U.S. host. MFA
also provided the CDA with copies of internal email correspondence
between SUDATEL and Network Solutions. In a separate meeting, the
MFA asserted to a UNAMID official that Network Solutions' action
will cause Sudan to loose all internet access within several
3. (U) On April 8, SUDATEL was informed via email by Kim Gasper,
Executive Support Specialist, Network Solutions, (tel:
570-708-8700, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) that its
internet domain name had been locked (substantive text in para. 5).
On April 10, SUDATEL queried whether its domain register could be
transferred to another company. On April 11, it was informed that
"... upon further investigation, we have been advised that the U.S.
laws and federal regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control
prevent us from unlocking the domain name for transfer."
4. (SBU) Action request: If true, the assertion that Sudan may
soon loose its internet access is cause for serious concern. Lack
of internet access would cripple efforts to implement a number of
key U.S. policy interests in Sudan, including CPA implementation,
UNAMID deployment, and humanitarian assistance in Darfur. It will
hurt private Sudanese, opposition political parties and civil
society and could lead to GOS retaliation against the US Embassy.
Post requests Washington guidance on how to respond to the GoS and
to SUDATEL, and what to advise them about how to work with Network
Solutions or another U.S. vendor in obtaining an OFAC license to
permit SUDATEL to continue to provide internet service. Post
further requests that the Department and OFAC reach out to Network
Solutions to seek to remedy this situation, or if preferred, Embassy
Khartoum could assist Network Solutions with this process with
guidance from the Department and OFAC. End action request.
5. (U) Begin Text:
Your Domain Name is locked due to OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset
Control) rules. I have provided a link below for your reference.
The Country you reside in may be listed in the Office of Foreign
Assets Control, therefore, due to U.S. law and federal regulations
we are not able to process your credit card for renewals or continue
to maintain registration of the domains that resided in your
Please feel free to submit any documentation related to this issue
to our Legal Department at email@example.com or you
can fax it to 703-668-5959.